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I Forge Iron

Coathanger project pics

John B

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We needed some coathangers for the Guilds's forge, so we had a bit of a competition to make one to a sample. Here they are in situ. Competitors were given a piece of 10mm (3/8") x 20mm (3/4") with excessive length, it was then up to the individuals to asses the sizes needed.

As you can see, they were all pretty near to the original, have to make a couple more now

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For those interested this was how it was done. Captions on pictures should help explain proceedure.

Bar was marked out for the different section points using centre punch marks so you can see them when hot.


The short end was then split to start to form the arms, and then closed together to fuller in at the next mark.

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Fullered for the arms transition point (a little too near on this one, but it will be OK)


The bar was then fullered to isolate the section from arms to mounting section


This section was then forged to shape


Fuller in at the next mark


Then forge/spread the mounting section, leaving a raised vein down the centre, punch the securing screw holes and finish dress this area

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Then back to the split end, Use the hardie to open the split end and open these up to 90 degrees for access, then draw out one side to a smooth taper and note the length, then forge the other side to same dimensions and check lengths are the same.

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Bring the arms into a straight line and check lengths again. You can see in the pics why the original fullering did not leave quite enough material to allow a fullering in the split end to give a flush flat top when the arms are finished, in this case it was hot filed to make smooth.

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Then when you are happy they are the same length, reverse the work in the tongs to start the top arm/ball end.

Cut the excess material off at the mark using the hardie to cut halfway through from both sides, this helps to start to form the ball end, then fuller in at the next mark.

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Then draw the arm to a shaped oval taper ready to forge the ball

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Forge the ball end on end of horn and front and back edges on anvil, dress with hot file to finish arm ready to shape

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Then shape the arm over the far side of the anvil and horn

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This completes the arm end,

Reverse the workpiece in the tongs and bring the lower arm into position

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Now start the scrolls, the anvil this was done on had a stubby horn, so I used a bick iron suitable for the task.

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Then repeat for other side and adjust them to match.

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Now it is ready to finish, in this case it will be primed and painted

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Well that's it warts and all, If you want to try it, you will probably make it quicker than the time I took to post it.

Have fun


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bdy nora john!! thats a very long post - thanks hugely for bothering - Lovely looking hooks, i will certainly try that out with your very clear and groovy pictorial tutorial! i cant see any warts either - really nice design :)

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Very nice tutorial John, well done. Duplicating pieces accurately is harder than many folk think and I kind of put the skill in my intermediate level when I instruct. Having the finished pieces be an integral part of the local clubhouse is brilliant, the makers and others will get a look at them everytime they come in.

I am going to have to adopt the idea.

Frosty The Lucky.

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